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FIVE years and a half ago, certain ladies,
grieved to think that numbers of their own
sex were wandering about the streets in
degradation, passing through and through
the prisons all their lives, or hopelessly
perishing in other ways, resolved to try the
experiment on a limited scale of a Home for
the reclamation and emigration of women. As
it was clear to them that there could be
little or no hope in this country for the greater
part of those who might become the objects
of their charity, they determined to receive
into their Home, only those who distinctly
accepted this condition: That they came there
to be ultimately sent abroad, (whither, was
at the discretion of the ladies); and that they
also came there, to remain for such length
of time as might, according to the circumstances
of each individual case, be considered
necessary as a term of probation, and for
instruction in the means of obtaining an honest
livelihood. The object of the Home was two-fold.
First, to replace young women who had
already lost their characters and lapsed into
guilt, in a situation of hope. Secondly, to
save other young women who were in danger
of falling into the like condition, and give them
an opportunity of flying from crime when
they and it stood face to face.

The projectors of this establishment, in
undertaking it, were sustained by nothing
but the high object of making some unhappy
women a blessing to themselves and others
instead of a curse, and raising up among the
solitudes of a new world some virtuous homes,
much needed there, from the sorrow and ruin
of the old. They had no romantic visions or
extravagant expectations. They were prepared
for many failures and disappointments,
and to consider their enterprise rewarded, if
they in time succeeded with one third or one
half of the cases they received.

As the experience of this small Institution,
even under the many disadvantages of a
beginning, may be useful and interesting,
this paper will contain an exact account of
its progress and results.

It was (and is) established in a detached
house with a garden. The house was never
designed for any such purpose, and is only
adapted to it, in being retired and not
immediately overlooked. It is capable of
containing thirteen inmates besides two
Superintendents. Excluding from consideration
ten young women now in the house,
there have been received in all, since November
eighteen hundred and forty seven, fifty-six
inmates. They have belonged to no
particular class, but have been starving
needlewomen of good character, poor needle-women
who have robbed their furnished
lodgings, violent girls committed to prison
for disturbances in ill-conducted workhouses,
poor girls from Ragged Schools, destitute
girls who have applied at Police offices for
relief, young women from the streets: young
women of the same class taken from the
prisons after undergoing punishment there
as disorderly characters, or for shoplifting,
or for thefts from the person: domestic
servants who have been seduced, and two
young women held to bail for attempting
suicide. No class has been favored more
than another; and misfortune and distress
are a sufficient introduction. It is not usual
to receive women of more than five or six-and-twenty;
the average age in the fifty-six
cases would probably be about twenty. In
some instances there have been great personal
attractions; in others, the girls have been
very homely and plain. The reception has
been wholly irrespective of such sources of
interest. Nearly all have been extremely

Of these fifty-six cases, seven went away by
their own desire during their probation; ten
were sent away for misconduct in the Home;
seven ran away; three emigrated and
relapsed on the passage out; thirty (of whom
seven are now married) on their arrival in
Australia or elsewhere, entered into good
service, acquired a good character, and have
done so well ever since as to establish a strong
prepossession in favor of others sent out from
the same quarter. It will be seen from these
figures that the failures are generally discovered
in the Home itself, and that the
amount of misconduct after the training and
emigration, is remarkably small. And it is
to be taken into consideration that many
cases are admitted into the Home, of which
there is, in the outset, very little hope, but
which it is not deemed right to exclude from
the experiment.

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